The Greece Central School District in Rochester, N.Y., stated that the four boys who have been in the national spotlight for bullying bus monitor Karen Klein will be suspended from school for one year and barred from "school and regular bus transportation." The video showing four middle school students verbally harassing Karen Klein went viral after being posted on YouTube by a school bus passenger.
Klein has been interviewed on several national news shows about the recent incident recorded as the bus is in motion. The video contains graphic language as the male seventh-graders verbally harass Klein for about 10 minutes, poking her arms and apparently attempting to remove her hearing aids. At one point, she is seen wiping away tears as the students laugh and continue to berate her.
"As is shown by this unfortunate incident, bullying is not a new issue to those who work in schools," the website statement reads. "The Greece Central School District has a strong bullying prevention model that includes a district response team, training programs for staff and students including the Olweus Bullying Program, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and a Bullying Reporting Process. In March, we also hired a special counselor to train all staff in bullying prevention models. In fact, she is holding a previously scheduled training for administrators as we speak.
"The behaviors displayed on this video are not representative of all Greece Central students and this is certainly not what we would like our students to be known for. We have worked very hard to educate students on the damaging impact of bullying and will continue to do so."
The district added that it had received "thousands" of phone calls and emails from across the country expressing outrage at the students' behavior. Reportedly, the four students have received numerous death threats, to which the district responded that it does not condone vigilante justice, calling those threats "just another form of bullying" that "cannot be tolerated."
"We all need to take a step back and look at how we treat each other. It is our job as educators and parents to teach children and lead by example," the statement concludes. "We encourage parents to use this as a springboard to begin a dialogue with their children about bullying, respect and consequences. As a school community, we will continue to take the lead in bullying education and we encourage all students and employees subjected to bullying and harassment to report it as soon as it occurs and to take a stand if they are witness to bullying in their lives."
In another news report, the four boys apologized for their actions. Klein also called for threats to the four boys to stop.